September 08, 2007

No direct involvement of Health Minister in AIIMS: MPs panel

Noting that the government intervention proves "baneful" for the autonomy of institutions of excellence, a parliamentary panel today suggested the union health minister remain out of any form of direct involvement in AIIMS and other such institutions.

The Standing Committee, which presented the report in the Rajya Sabha, however, said it is not averse to the idea of government having a say in the management of the Central institutions.

"But if the intervention of the government proves baneful for the autonomy of the institutions of excellence the issue of nomination of the health minister and health secretary needs to be revisited," the committee said.

The committee, chaired by Samajwadi Party MP Amar Singh, said they were "compelled to make such a statement as there have been several unsavoury developments in the recent past that have cast their shadow on the autonomy of AIIMS."

"A host of issues involving AIIMS and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare are again before the Delhi High Court," it said.

"... the minister and the secretary of the ministry of Health and Family Welfare should remain out of any form of direct involvement in any of the Institute Bodies," the report said.

The committee also expressed its deep concern over the non-issuance of degree certificates to the resident doctors of AIIMS and the resultant strike which severely paralysed the patient care services at the institute.

Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss and AIIMS Director P Venugopal are involved in a tug of war for more than one year over the running of the premier institute.

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